October 2021 in Review

October! Spooky month, the month of temperature changes, a month that I normally shove a lot into and overextend myself. Happy to say that I didn’t do the latter this year. I knew I’d be coming back from vacation early on, and I didn’t want to try to do too much. I’m glad I didn’t, because it’s been a rather difficult month in terms of my brain. Things haven’t been hard externally, but a big chunk of October was spent changing my anti-anxiety medication, and any time you change medication like that, you have days of brain fog and adjustment. My doctor and I have gone slow, though, so it hasn’t been too bad. Side effects have been minimal – which is good, as the last time this medication had to be adjusted, my previous doctor went too fast and the side effects were some of the worst I’ve had! Brain zaps = no fun!

Even with my attempts to keep things slow, it was a busy month. Vacation, obviously, in the first few days. Laurence was in full-on rehearsal mode for the play he was in, with nights extending past 7pm almost every day, and then the play opened up on the 27th. There were a bunch of doctor visits, especially in the second half of the month. We had two family birthdays as well, including my oldest son’s 21st birthday. And at the end of the month, we did a fundraising walk for the ALS foundation with my friend Natalie and her husband, who developed the first early symptoms of ALS in March and has progressed far more rapidly than anyone can explain. Add to that the new phase of gardening (more below), Gherkin’s spay surgery (though sadly, her new family pulled out of the adoption, boo!), Halloween, and my personal attempts to improve my health this month, and it’s been…a lot more than I wanted it to be. I don’t regret it, though. I’m just looking forward to getting through all the medical portions so I can go back to focusing on better things!

I actually read quite a lot in October because it was full-steam ahead on my TBR culling project. Did I enjoy all eight books I read? Nope. I was quite angry with some of them, and probably I ought to have quit reading at least two. But I did enjoy some, and my favorites of the month are definitely The Ex Hex (in terms of enjoyment) and One Great Lie (in terms of enrichment).

A big part of me is already looking ahead to next year’s goals, especially as I’ve basically given up on 2021’s. I also don’t want to (aka shouldn’t) start making goals because I have no idea where I’ll be medically at the beginning of 2022. I’m dealing with so many issues and starting to get swamped by them. It feels like drowning on dry land, physically and mentally. I actually took several photos this month trying to portray the feeling.

More doctor’s appointments, more scheduled procedures, more medication changes. Also, I’m tired. Very, very tired.

The weather is starting to turn toward cooler temps, hurrah! We finally got someone to come put gutters on the back of our house (previous company we were working with kept saying they’d come, but after three months of not coming, we gave up on them). Once that was done, we were able to plan for the next phase of work on our yard. There’s still quite a bit to do! We had a few priorities to start with this month: planting the overcrowded aloe into the ground; getting more plants to fill out the front beds; and working to stabilize the side yard against erosion. And this went fairly according to plan. The succulent garden is planted now (far more than I originally intended or planned for!), and there are a few new plants to help fill in the front beds (not enough, but some), and parts of the side yard have been stabilized. I’ll post more about the succulent garden in its own dedicated post.

Favorite photos
These are excluding any photos from vacation, since those were already shared in other posts. As always, these photos are taken by me and aren’t always the best photography, just the ones I liked best for one reason or another.

Top, left to right: Jojo and the candy; fire; Angy-boi cuddles
Middle, l to r: drowning on dry land; he put himself into the recycling
Bottom, l to r: moon; Ghost in the window; fairy watching over the garden

Highlights of October
Again, these will exclude vacation or they’d be overrun, heh.

  • seeing my babies on returning home from vacation!
  • new couch (the old one actually had its arms fall off!) and a new armchair for my bedroom
  • getting my 3rd covid dose!
  • finally getting the Halloween decor up
  • good news from Jason’s employer
  • starting a new phase of xeriscaping our yards
  • cold fronts!
  • getting good photos of the moon
  • seeing an easter tiger swallowtail, which I hadn’t yet seen in the garden
  • the ALS walk with Nat and Chris
  • Laurence’s play, which was highly disturbing (a retelling of Dracula called The Transylvanian Clockworks, in which L played Dr Van Helsing, a gaslighting and murderous old psychiatrist)
  • seeing my mom for the first time in ages, and watching her play with the kittens – Angus, who normally avoids strangers the most, came right out to her to play and get pets. I’ve literally never seen him do this with anyone not in our household!
  • giving out full size candy bars on Halloween!

Coming up in November
This will be a heavy medical month for me. I’m not looking forward to having three intestinal procedures done a week before Thanksgiving, eek. But it is what it is. Hopefully they’ll at least figure something out. I also hope we can find new homes for our little kitties soon.

About Amanda

Agender empty-nester filling my time with cats, books, fitness, and photography. She/they.
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2 Responses to October 2021 in Review

  1. Melissa F. says:

    Thinking of you with all the medical treatments coming up. And my heart goes out to your friend Natalie and her husband. Our longtime friend Mike passed away a little over a year ago from ALS…his also progressed much faster than expected. Such a horrible, horrible disease.


    • Amanda says:

      We really think that him getting covid last July has done some neurological damage that caused this to progress far quicker than normal. He’s already to the point where he can hardly speak, less than six months post-first symptoms, and less than three months from diagnosis. It’s horrible. 😦


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